ARLINGTON -- The Royals appeared to receive some good news regarding closer Wade Davis: An MRI performed in Kansas City on Sunday revealed Davis has a low-grade (Grade 1) strain of his right flexor muscle.
"The MRI showed his elbow was clean," manager Ned Yost said before Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Rangers in the series finale at Globe Life Park.
Davis was placed on the 15-day disabled list, though, retroactive to Wednesday. He is eligible to return on Aug. 12. The Royals recalled left-hander Matt Strahm from Double-A Northwest Arkansas to take Davis' spot on the roster. Strahm promptly made his Major league debut and notched his first strikeout, but Strahm did give up one run in one-third of an inning on Sunday.
"I thought it was good," Strahm said of his debut. "They called down and it happened so quick. But looking back on it, it's unreal. I had a little bit of nerves. After the warmup pitches and everything, just back to pitching."
Davis, who was on the disabled list earlier this month with a forearm strain, experienced some soreness in the forearm again while throwing on the side on Friday. He flew back to Kansas City on Saturday.
Davis now will meet the team in Tampa, Fla., for treatment as the Royals start a four-game series against the Rays on Monday.
"We'll evaluate him again after [Aug. 12] to see where we go," Yost said. "It was a mild strain."
Strahm, 24, made 22 appearances and 18 starts at Double-A, with a 3.43 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 102 1/3 innings. Strahm is a fastball-slider pitcher who recently hit 97 mph on the radar gun. He also has been working on a changeup this season.
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Davis ranks among the most skilled relievers in baseball, but he is a major injury concern for the remainder of the season after being placed on the disabled list for the second time in July. On the plus side, Davis owners may be able to add a stellar replacement in the form of Kelvin Herrera. The right-hander owns sparkling ratios (1.58 ERA, 0.88 WHIP in 2016) and picked up a save when Davis was unavailable earlier this month. Owners who need a closer but do not have access to Herrera could consider new saves sources such as Tony Watson (Pittsburgh) and Jake Barrett (Arizona).
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.